Nimble ballerinas and long-legged birds are elegant; dump trucks and walruses usually are not.

Being graceful and refined are aspects of being elegant. That word first appears in English in the 15th century. It comes, via Old French, from the same Latin source that gave rise to the English word "elect, and it does seem that especially elegant people and things are in a select group. Very stylishly dressed men and women are elegant, and fine restaurants with distinctive delicacies are elegant. Most ordinary places and people can become elegant, though, when dressed up or adorned for special occasions. Even walruses can appear elegant when they're swimming.

Definitions of elegant
  1. adjective
    refined and tasteful in appearance or behavior or style
    elegant handwriting”
    “an elegant dark suit”
    “she was elegant to her fingertips”
    “small churches with elegant white spires”
    “an elegant mathematical solution--simple and precise and lucid”
    having or expressing dignity; especially formality or stateliness in bearing or appearance
    dandified, dandyish, foppish
    affecting extreme elegance in dress and manner
    de luxe, deluxe, luxe
    elegant and sumptuous
    characterized by elegance or refinement or accomplishment
    high-class, high-toned
    pretentiously elegant
    exquisite, recherche
    lavishly elegant and refined
    neat, refined, tasteful
    free from what is tawdry or unbecoming
    luxuriously elegant
    soigne, soignee
    polished and well-groomed; showing sophisticated elegance
    characterized by beauty of movement, style, form, or execution
    (used of persons and their behavior) cultivated and genteel
    having or appealing to those having worldly knowledge and refinement and savoir-faire
    having or showing or conforming to good taste
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    lacking in refinement or grace or good taste
    lacking dignity
    gauche, graceless, unpolished
    lacking social polish
    without artificial refinement or elegance
    (used of persons and their behavior) not refined; uncouth
    tactless, untactful
    lacking or showing a lack of what is fitting and considerate in dealing with others
    lacking aesthetic or social taste
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  2. adjective
    suggesting taste, ease, and wealth
    synonyms: graceful, refined
    characterized by charm, good taste, and generosity of spirit
  3. adjective
    displaying effortless beauty and simplicity in movement or execution
    “an elegant dancer”
    “an elegant mathematical solution -- simple and precise”
    characterized by beauty of movement, style, form, or execution
Word Family